1971 Robert Bouchet No 135
!971 Robert Bouchet #135 (France), 650 mm scale, 53 mm nut, 42,5 mm spacing between 1st and 6th string. Spruce top, Indian rosewood sides and back, entirely original and untouched since the day it was made, the original owner preserved several photos of Robert Bouchet playing this guitar when he picked it up in 1972. Although the label is dated 1972 on the label, it is dated 1971 internally and numbered 135, making it among the last of the instruments made by Bouchet when he was at the height of his abilities. The top is braced with the classic final version of his famous Bouchet strutting system which produces guitars with incredible first string sustain throughout the entire fingerboard range. Bouchet was first and foremost an artist and instructor in graphic arts, his guitar making activities were more of a hobby than profession. The labels were etched and printed by Bouchet using various artist papers, but always from the same plate, so they are quite variable. He also etched and decorated the French made machines which had reverse gears and made his own tuning buttons. It is rare to find these still operable on well used Bouchets, typically they were changed for more mechanically sound sets. Bouchet enjoys the distinction of not only influencing the next generation of French makers led by Daniel Friederich, but also the entire modern Granada School of makers which has Antonio Marin Montero at the head of the class. Marin and Bouchet collaborated on at least four instruments together, and today Marin’s guitars are the closest in spirit to those of Bouchet. In his lifetime Bouchet made about 150 guitars, and he created an illustrated notebook early in his career which documented step by step the processes, measurements and methods he used to assemble his guitars, which has been reproduced in facsimile by the Cité de la Musique in Paris. Highly sought by collectors, pristine examples of Bouchet’s work are exceedingly rare.